James & Amelia Gould
Sat 3 Mar 2007 08:39

After years of planning and saving for our big trip, and months of packing, shopping, fixing, painting, cleaning and many more adjectives, we finally moved onboard Rahula last Friday.  We couldn't stay at home any longer as the tenants were moving in the following day!


The move onboard wasn't too much of a shock.  Luckily, unlike during a warship move onboard date, all the work was (almost) complete, and we weren't living in a building site.  Unfortunately we had other issues to contend with, like where to put all our stuff!  Despite very careful packing, we still managed to fill 4 carloads with essential cruising items.  We did have a bit of a discussion as to whether James's squash racquet was essential (yes - J), or if I really needed that many shoes/sarongs/handbags (no one can - J), but in the end Rahula swallowed the lot, and sank further into the mud…  The only word of warning I would give to all those planning to visit - please don't bring too much stuff, because I'm afraid you will have nowhere to put it!


After a few days onboard we are settling into the yacht bum lifestyle far more easily than either of us expected.  I even wandered around the boat yard in flip flops.  In February.  In England.  And my feet weren't cold.  I didn't even have socks on.  It was a weird feeling.


Being unemployed isn't too bad either, as we've managed to make our last pay cheque from the Navy last until the end of the month - a first for James!  Though he has it easy.  Due to some quirk of software, and because he has to be a special case, he is still in the employment of Her Majesty.  The new personnel admin system the Navy introduced just won't let him go (who can blame them - J)  The personnel people are "sorting it out", but we're hoping it'll take them ages!


So now that we are finally here, counting down to the big departure we've been talking about for so long, it is time for goodbyes.  James' family have already bid a fond farewell at the weekend as his parents booked a holiday without checking our ship's programme!  We have both had to say goodbye so many times before when deploying with ships but this time it is somehow different.  We really hope to see you all at our leaving party in Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on 9 March.  Please get in touch with either of us if you need details on place & time.  Hope to see you there!